EURO 2024 Group D: Austria Stun Netherlands; France Fail To Impress Against Poland

France Austria EURO 2024
France Austria EURO 2024

On paper, Group D of the 2024 European Championship (EURO 2024) looked pretty straightforward. Most expected France and the Netherlands to seal the top two spots, leaving Poland and Austria to fight for the third place. Ralf Rangnick’s boys, however, did not pay any mind to the prognoses. They kept their cool, fought for every ball, and topped the group with six points. France finished second with five points whereas the Netherlands could only manage a third-place finish with four points. Poland crashed out of the competition after amassing only a solitary point in three matches.

Austria Claim Incredible Win Over Netherlands In Final Group D Game

Austria and the Netherlands squared off in the final game of Group D at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Tuesday evening (June 25). The underdogs started the game brightly and deservedly got their noses in front in the sixth minute. Left-back Alexander Prass broke with pace and breached Netherlands’ final third. He then swung a dangerous cross into the area, which a reeling Donyell Malen tried to block. The right-winger, however, could not get there in time and ended up bundling the ball into his own net.

Holland could not find a reply in the first 45, but Cody Gakpo handed the goal they were looking for just a couple of minutes into the second half. Capitalizing on Austria’s slow start, Xavi Simons led the Netherlands’ blistering counter-attack before slipping Gakpo through. The Liverpool attacker made no mistake in smashing the ball in from close range.

Just before the hour mark, Romano Schmid restored Austria’s one-goal cushion, courtesy of a sprightly counter-attack. Florian Grillitsch delivered a peachy cross into the area, allowing Schmid to head it in. Austria’s heavy blow, however, did not deter the Dutch, as they once again restored parity in the 75th minute.

Clutch substitute Wout Weghorst won an aerial duel and directed the ball toward Memphis Depay, who coolly slotted the ball beyond Patrick Pentz. Unfortunately for the Oranje, Austria reclaimed their advantage just five minutes later, with Marcel Sabitzer applying a thumping finish from the left to seal a 3-2 victory for his team.

France Fail To Impress In EURO 2024 Clash With Poland

While Austria showed their undeniable quality against the Netherlands, tournament favorites France played another drab game against Poland. They dominated possession and created quite a few goalscoring opportunities but failed to beat the in-form Lukasz Skorupski, with the goalkeeper making four saves in the first half alone.

Kylian Mbappe, who drew two fine saves from Skorupski in the first half, fired Les Bleus into the lead in the second half, coolly tucking away his 56th-minute penalty. France were limping toward a slender 1-0 win when Poland got the opportunity to save face. With around 15 minutes left to play, Dayot Upamecano fouled Karol Swiderski, handing Robert Lewandowski the opportunity to equalize from the penalty spot. The Barcelona ace missed his penalty, but since goalkeeper Mike Maignan had off the line before the whistle, the kick was retaken. In his second attempt, Lewandowski put it away, making it 1-1 at the Signal Iduna Park.

Neither team pushed hard for the winner and settled for a stalemate in the final Group D outing of EURO 2024.

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